How Shoulding Gets in the Way of Business Strategy

Shoulding & Business Strategy

Strategy. It’s how we intentionally achieve what we desire, with more clarity and less effort.

Shoulding. Let’s admit, shoulding all over ourselves as we move towards what we desire is not only NOT working, it creates roadblocks and detours (and a whole lotta angst) along the way.

The more things we feel we ‘should’ do, the more overwhelmed we get and the less productive we become…this is often when procrastination and shiny object syndrome kicks in — ringing true for any of you? I’ll admit it does for me.

When we focus on the ‘shoulds’ repeating in our head, we can easily miss hidden opportunities.

How often do you have thoughts that play over and over, saying you should do more? For example, that you should exercise more, call your mother more, or blog more consistently.

Vision, Goals, Boundaries

Vision and Business Strategy

Or, perhaps you feel you should spend less energy on social media, networking, or friend that doesn’t support you.

We get so caught up in what we perceive we should and should not do that we lose sight of what we WANT to do, and WHY we want to do it. We lose our vision AND our critical thinking diminishes. This is when strategy gets eaten by shoulding for breakfast.

Here are three ways to stop shoulding and start getting into aligned action that will create a path to your success and happiness rather than adding to the pile of pungent shoulds:

3 Business Strategies for More Relief and Less Shoulding:

Business Strategy #1: Design Your Vision for Your Business and Life

You need a vision with goals for what you want before you can create an aligned action plan to achieve it…instead of a ‘shoulding’ list. Yes, you’ve heard me say this before, and I can’t stress this enough (for anything you want, personal and professional).

Why is having a vision with goals so important?

Because…Let’s admit; VAGUE goals Bring VAGUE Results.

…and vague results can put us into full-on shoulding mode quickly. Things get real damn quick after a few P&Ls with vague results.

Defining your vision becomes a picture of the possible. It becomes a blueprint for an aligned action, a ‘buffer’ if you will, against shoulding, procrastinating, and adding more spinning plates in the air.

A vision supports you to make choices from a thoughtful, reflective place rather than a reactive ‘shoulding’ place. Can you feel the difference in that statement?

We seldom differentiate between the ‘day-to-day busyness’ (email, phone calls, admin, etc.) and the work of growing our business and achieving our goals …. because both are necessary for the survival of our business.  Having a crystal-clear vision of what you want, helps cut away the non-essentials in your day and minimize the shoulding.

SUCCESS starts with focus…with your vision. With vision comes clarity, with clarity comes better choices, and better choices bring improved results (and less shoulding).

Business Strategy #2: Establish Clear Boundaries

You could have all the best business strategies in place, but if you don’t have boundaries that support you to (unapologetically) do the work so that you can achieve your goals, your strategy will not work, and you’ll continue to ‘should’ throughout your day, week, and year.

Boundaries are what define the edges for your business strategy, and hence, your business success. They establish what you will do and what you will not do. Boundaries create relief and spaciousness in your day, as well as help you unhook from the constant shoulding.

Business Strategy #3: Accountability 

Get an accountability partner that’s going to hold your vision up for you to keep focused on so that you will continually make choices that are aligned with your goals.

Accountability to your vision and goals is what will be the magnetic pull towards your dreams, rather than a push which has resistance to it (shoulding has resistance to it).

Girlfriends are great, and oh so necessary. Can I get an ‘oh hell yeah’ on that one please?

Out of love, compassion, and empathy, girlfriends will often pour another glass of wine, nod their head in agreement and commiserate rather than hold you accountable to your dreams.

An accountability partner means making a personal commitment. You’re making a personal commitment to yourself, your accountability partner is committing to support you, and you her.

Find a mindful community, expert, or professional coach to be your accountability partner.  Someone who has been there. They’ll help keep your eyes, actions, and words focused on your ultimate vision so that you can have the life, business, and career of your dreams.

It’s time for the shoulding to stop.

Need some help silencing the shoulding chatter in your head? I’d love to help. Comment below or shoot me an email.

Work-Life Balance: Vision Required

Work-Life Balance: Vision Required



That’s the number of results that come up when I Googled Work-Life Balance.


Clearly, A LOT of people are working on their Work-Life Balance.

How about you? Have you ever searched Google for some guidance, wisdom, and (or most of all) clarity on how to gain control of all the moving pieces of your life?

Let’s admit, the secret to success isn’t working harder and producing more. The law of diminishing return comes into play, and we wind up working more hours with less to show for it. Not exactly the result we’re looking to achieve.

When we come from the perspective of constantly needing to work harder, it leaves us feeling like there’s never enough time, or worse, that we’re not enough.

As a result, we can become consumed by scarcity- not enough time, money, support, tools, sleep, love, etc.- and we can quickly lose our perspective of the woman we want to be, the business we want to build, the life we want to live and the relationships we desire.

Too often our motivation for action is to feel the relief of checking things off our endless to-do list rather than focusing on our long-term vision of what we want; making sure our actions and words are aligned with our vision for work-life balance.

So many women I speak with want to feel like they’re intentionally choosing their life, instead of continually reacting to it.

They want work-life balance but don’t know how to achieve it.

Can you relate?

If we’re playing whack-a-mole all day, totally overloaded and overwhelmed, then go home to more juggling and feeling depleted, it’s nearly impossible to think about the future, or create more joy, fulfillment, ease, and ‘balance’ in our life.

And here’s the big kicker, our thoughts and images of the future, affect the future we experience.

So, I ask you, what is your vision of a fulfilling life? Again, your VISION for your future will affect the future you experience.

Do you want to feel more empowered, like you’re choosing your life, and less at the mercy of circumstances and other people’s expectations, needs, or demands?

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve heard me talk (a lot) about the importance of having a compelling vision for the business you want.

For us to create the business of our dreams, we need to be crystal clear in our vision of what we want our business to look like. To feel like. To provide. To BE.

Working to achieve balance in our lives is no different.

A long-term vision helps us with short-term decision making for Work-Life Balance.
This vision helps us so that we can say ‘YES” to more of what we want and ‘NO’ to what’s keeping us out of balance.

Far too often we say yes to ‘more’ in our lives without making room for it by saying ‘NO’ to something else.

These choices lead to a life out of balance.

Now, I’ll admit, I think balance is a fallacy. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s bullshit.

But clearly, work-life balance is what people are searching for…1,800,000,000, no arguing with that number.

Though I will say, I’ve yet to work with a woman who wants all of the pieces of her life to weigh the same.

It’s not about making everything even; it’s about aligning our actions, thoughts, and priorities with our Vision of a truly fulfilling, intentional life.

Intentionally choosing aligned actions, words, and beliefs, moment to moment, is what will consistently move you closer to your vision so that you can achieve the work-life balance you seek.

Keep in mind as you start moving towards aligning your actions with your desires, old habits die hard, as do old beliefs, stories, and way of relating, or reacting, to others.

As you move from your old habits into a more aligned and empowered way of being, you’ll feel a strong pull back to the familiar when things get uncomfortable (for example, saying no to a really cool opportunity because you realize it’s actually taking your eye, and precious time, off your goals).

It takes a while to embed new habits into daily practice so have some compassion for yourself along the way. With each new choice, opportunity, or request, ask yourself:


That is, ask yourself What’s The Function of my goal, action, belief, choice that’s in front of me? Is it adding to my vision of work-life alignment, or is it pulling me away?

Here’s a work-life balance activity that will help you align your actions so that you can achieve your vision:

Alignment Activity for Work-Life Balance: AKA Work-Life Alignment

If you don’t clearly define what work-life balance looks like for you, odds are you won’t achieve it.

Take some time to get clear in these four areas:

  1. Define your Vision of what ‘balance’ is for you in each, work and ‘life.’
  2. Get clear on what your non-negotiables are in each.
  3. Understand the trade-offs that will come with the changes required as you align your actions, beliefs, and goals to your vision.
  4. Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
Prioritize your vision for Work-Life Balance or chances are, it won’t happen.

Remember, your images of the future affect your future experience. Be sure to define the vision and images you want or someone else will define them for you.

If you know of anyone who is seeking (or has Googled…) work-life balance, please feel free to forward this email to them. And if you found this helpful, please share.

Work-Life Balance